Kathy's Question: We have not lived together for over ten years, but never filed any separation papers.Would be considered legally separated after all these years? To be considered legally separated, a court must issue a judgment of separation.Unfortunately, not all states recognize a legal separation.These states include Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Texas.I just want to protect myself from any possible stupid moves that my husband might make.Brette's Answer: It would be a good idea for you to talk to an attorney so that you can understand the legal ramifications of a legal separation in your state, and the impact that may have on your divorce.One of the main reasons to get a legal separation is to protect your interests until you either divorce or get back together.Since some states require a period of separation before an uncontested divorce will be granted, a legal separation can spell out to how everything will be handled in the meantime.
Also what other issues may arise with him not being in the country?
You may wish to see a marriage counselor to help you decide if you wish to save your marriage.
Should I get a legal separation while he's in a mental facility?
In some instances, doing a legal separation first when you aren't certain can allow you to work out all the financial issues, so that when and if you are ready to divorce, there is not much left to decide.
On the other hand, it may add expense to your case.
Does a legal separation mean that I can no longer make medical decisions on his behalf should he become incapacitated for any reason such as his mental illness or say a car accident?